John Hagelin, Ph.D., is a most interesting man.
The Harvard-educated quantum physicist-cum-public policy expert has conducted high-level research at both the European Center for Particle Physics and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. His bio states that, “His scientific contributions in the fields of electroweak unification, grand unification, super-symmetry and cosmology include some of the most cited references in the physical sciences.”
I don’t even know what all that means, but it’s a lot more impressive than anything appearing on my resume.
Hagelin is currently the director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, an Iowa-based organization he founded to “identify, scientifically evaluate, and implement proven, prevention-oriented, forward-looking solutions to critical national and global problems,” according to the group’s website.
In 2003, Hagelin advocated a unique solution to the war in Iraq, what he called “a non-military approach to peace-creation,” based on the idea that chaos and disorder in any society can be calmed by using large groups of peace-creating experts trained in “scientifically verified meditation techniques.” That approach, he sadly noted in newspaper editorials published at the time, has been “largely ignored by the media, the government and the military.”
Crazy? Maybe, but Hagelin’s argument that “war doesn’t create peace; war creates chaos, social disruption and generations of animosity” is tough to dispute.
The basics of biotech
More to the point for today’s livestock producers and farmers, however, is Hagelin’s viewpoint on the use of biotechnology. Even as bitter debate among policymakers continues and costly litigation initiated by anti-GMO activists slows its implementation, the science of genetic engineering continues to progress, albeit slower and with less dramatic results in terms of agricultural productivity than even its staunchest believers acknowledge.
Personally, I’ve always argued that biotechnology, properly applied, holds great potential for being part of the solution to global hunger and food shortages; that genetic engineering is still in its infancy, scientifically speaking, and revolutionary gains cannot realistically be expected less than two decades after plant scientists have fully engaged in the basic research needed to develop crops utilizing the complex genetic manipulations needed to create such traits as drought tolerance.